Fact and value

Ruut Veenhoven
Published in: Cecora, J. (ed), 'Changing values and attitudes in family households, implications for institutional transition in East and West', FAA report nr 296, Society for agricultural policy research in rural society, 1994, Bonn, Germany, ISSN 1132-0559, pp 41-51

It is widely believed that life in the country is more satisfying than life in the city. This belief is propagated in romantic arts as well as in some social scientific theories. The belief is firmly rooted in public opinion, especially in the most urbanized parts of the world. This idea is not without consequences for planological decisions.
    The belief is false however. Analysis of various studies on life-satisfaction shows no advantage of rural dwelling. In developed countries rural people tend to be equally satisfiied with life as city-people. In the underdeveloped countries rural dwellers are markedly less happy than city-dwellers. Some explanations for the discrepancy between belief and reality are suggested.

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